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Facebook drops the ax on false news ads

The massive social network is blocking false news websites from advertising on Facebook.

Facebook announced its efforts to battle false news in December.

Facebook

It seems the false news buck stops at Facebook.

Facebook announced on Monday that it's blocking Pages -- a term used to describe a group's own account on the massive social network -- from posting advertisements if they repeatedly share false news. The company is using third-party fact-checking organizations like Snopes to flag false news stories, after con artists and hoax authors realized they could take advantage of people's gullibility and Facebook's ability to make such made-up articles viral.

Facebook acknowledged it had a fake news problem after the 2016 presidential election, thanks to millions of spam accounts and misleading but influential articles posted on news feeds.

Previously, Facebook announced that it was blocking advertisers from promoting stories that link to false news. Now it's ramping up its effort by blocking Pages from advertising at all if they have been flagged too many times for spreading false news.

Facebook called out false news for spreading mistrust and making "the world less informed." Product managers at the company saw that people were using ads on Facebook to build a false news empire. 

"This update will help to reduce the distribution of false news, which will keep Pages that spread fake news from making money," Satwik Shukla and Tess Lyons, two product managers at Facebook, said in a blog post on Monday

Pages will be able to advertise again if they stop sharing false news, the Facebook managers said.